Praise for Chris Bateman

  • Jane McGonigal
    "the most thoughtful respondent in games, barring none"
  • Kendall Walton
    "wonderfully refreshing and inventive"

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Great read, but I can't help but think that the holiday sales could change how you view this. Both Move and Kinect are selling well enough already, and the general consumer base has been taught for years that "me too" isn't bad - the focus is "Who did it better?" Now that the Wii has competition in terms of motion controls, you will find so many out there saying that one or the other of the new groups did it better despite their obviously trying to cash in.

And early on Sony, who have been known to go back on their word (they are a huge corporation), said that they had a ten year plan with the PS3. It is a sufficiently powerful console with capabilities that plug right into a home media center/network, so there is no big reason to move on just yet. We know that a new console is probably already in the works, but don't expect to see it unless Sony fails turn out a new direction for the 3.

Gospel X: The new controllers are selling okay for what they are, but an after-launch peripheral is not in the same situation as the controller that ships with a console.

What's interesting to me is not how many Moves or Kinects sell to existing console owners but whether or not either manages to sell consoles to new consumers - and in this regard, I'm extremely sceptical. Given the current installed base figures, Sony and Microsoft would have to show sales figures that were seriously on fire for these new devices to have any significance for the immediate future. I still think they are more relevant as posturing and testing the market prior to the next round.

"And early on Sony, who have been known to go back on their word (they are a huge corporation), said that they had a ten year plan with the PS3."

Yes, and they had a ten year plan with the PS2 and the PlayStation as well. And each of those ten year plans involved the launch of a replacement console after six years. The remaining four years of each Sony console's ten year life span is spent as a low cost-of-entry alternative to the new machine.

It's true that Sony have gone back on their word in the past, but redacting press releases or individual comments is not the same as changing a fundamental electronics pipeline involving vast investments. The PS2's ten year cycle was complete this year (2010), so even with my prediction of a PS4 in 2012 that would still mean the PS2 extended its life span by two years... That was, incidentally, exactly what happened with the PlayStation (released: 1994, discontinued: 2006). The pattern hasn't changed yet. :)

I remain confident that Sony will be the first to announce a new console, and that this announcement will come within two years.

Thanks for commenting!

I've no real insight but, FWIW, my observation is that the strongest interest I have seen in Kinect comes from people who don't necessarily even have an Xbox but see it as an interesting controller for a range of (e.g. musical) applications.

We might anyway expect strong initial sales from die-hard enthusiasts with cash to burn. It will be interesting to see the sales figures in 6 months time.


Matt (Sandbags): The form of interface Kinect represents will continue to improve, and may eventually become a significant player in the interface market; if it does so, it might be on the back of applications outside of games, as you suggest here.

But at this time, Kinect is being sold by Microsoft as an interface for play, and as with its predecessor, Sony's EyeToy, it's currently operating as a novelty. It would have to see astronomical success to affect the decisions facing the next generation of consoles, and I think that unlikely.

But this doesn't mean we won't see further developments in this line of interface devices - the core value being offered i.e. control without a tool in hand - has a definite appeal.

Thanks for your comment!

If they're searching for the next big thing that people will attach to their TV, then they're going to miss out on the next big thing. Whoever wins mobile gaming will be the winner, and it will probably be a phone device, not a dedicated gaming device. Short term iphone has the best games and developers, but who knows what's going to happen with Phone 7 and Android in the next 3 years.

Jethro: I agree that phone devices are gaining ground in the mobile space over dedicated handheld consoles, but this has very little to do with the battle over home consoles, which are not at this point significantly threatened by the handheld/phone market.

While televisions continue to sell, there will be a battle over the multimedia device that supplies content to it - both games and other media - and I'm not seeing any slowing in the market for television sets.

Thanks for sharing your views!

Just as a data point:

Today at CES Microsoft announced that it sold some 8 million Kinect sensors in the first 60 days that the gadget was on the market.


Thanks Matt; that's about twice what Sony have sold with Move so far. What I'd really like to see is not total sales, but number of new Xbox 360s sold with Kinect - this would tell me how many new users they reached with it. If there were none, 8 million is about 16% penetration into their existing market.

All the best!

That would be an interesting number but it wasn't in the CES announcement. Which is interesting because it's exactly the kind of statement, if it were present, that stockholders would love since it would mean that MS was opening a new market.

We might choose to infer from the absence of such a statement that MS is currently mining the XBobx fanboy segment. I guess the next Q's numbers will help us figure that out.

I can well imagine they're outstripping Move. Beyond you talking about it I haven't seen or heard anything. And I did go out shopping this christmas so I haven't been completely hidden from commercial reality.



Well looking at sales of 360 this year versus last year over the Winter Festival, they are significantly up - almost double last year (although still selling less vigorously than Wii). If we assume this is entirely due to Kinect, that would suggest they reached approximately 2.4 million new users. This is hardly an awe inspiring figure, and you can understand why Microsoft would prefer to wave a flag over "best selling peripheral of all time" rather than give the specifics. :)

Over the last eight weeks, Wii sold 9 million new units, while 360 sold just under 6.5 million. This is a strong performance for Microsoft - and an embarrassment for Sony - but Nintendo are still king of the castle right now.

All the best!


Just out of interest, is that units sold? Or units stuffed in the channel?

I've seen MS picked up in the past for reporting the latter number to make it look like their sales are better than they are.

Of course those units can then sit in retailer inventory for months.


Matt: I'm pretty sure those figures are units sold, not units shipped. But you're right, platform holders do like to talk about units shipped when it sounds better. ;)

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